How to Get Medium Format Colors With Your Full-Frame Camera

Medium-format cameras have long been known for their excellent image quality and incredible ability when it comes to rendering colors. Phase One's latest camera, the IQ3 100MP Trichromatic, takes this a step further and you can now get extremely accurate and effective colors, straight out of the camera. To learn more about the Trichromatic and how it compares to the "standard" 100MP back from Phase One, check out my previous article. The main issue with medium-format cameras such as these is that they cost significantly more than what most of us would like to pay. What if we could attain that level of quality without needing to spend anywhere as close?

In my latest video, I compare the Canon 5DS R and the Phase One Trichromatic to demonstrate how with just a few adjustments, you can take your images to the level of medium format and possibly even beyond that. To do this I use an X-Rite ColorChecker Passport. Many of you have probably seen the results this device can help create, but, chances are you've probably never seen it compares to medium format let alone the trichromatic. In my view, it's nothing short of incredible how much of an impact this can have on your images. Colors are extremely important and I highly recommend this relatively cheap option. 

Check out the video for the full comparison, images are available for download using the link the video description.

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Usman Dawood's picture

Yes it does but I find it to be noticeably more accurate.

WHAT version of lumariver do you have? :D

Photo Kaz's picture

100 Euro, ouch.

Usman Dawood's picture

Value is relative so what is the alternative?

Photo Kaz's picture

Free profile software from x-rite?

Usman Dawood's picture

You mean the free software that comes with the passport? That's not an alternative that's part of the package.

Spyder have an alternative but it's more expensive and much bigger so trickier to carry around.

Photo Kaz's picture

Right, can't you create a profile using the free tools that come with the Passport?

Usman Dawood's picture

No I think you need the hardware for the software to work otherwise there's nothing available for the software to create a profile from.

It uses the colour patches on the passport to create the profile that can be applied to the camera/lens/light combination you used.

Photo Kaz's picture

It could create the profile from the captured photo, just like the DNG profile.

Usman Dawood's picture

You can but then it may not be specific to your lighting scenario, lens and camera choice. The lighting makes a huge difference so you still need to buy the hardware.

Rex Larsen's picture

I use Xrite products. My Cinema Display monitor is calibrated and profiled with the iOne Pro Display. I use the Passport Color Checker, and do careful custom white balance with an ExpoDisk.
I still frequently have problems with excessive red/magenta in skin with my Canon 5DMKllI. Some call it "Canon color".
I've never been impressed with the custom profiles from the Passport. I keep hoping it will really improve my color and it rarely does.

Usman Dawood's picture

Really? I’m quite surprised, I was able to get similar and even somewhat better colours than the Trichromatic using the standard plugin in Lightroom.

What kind of stuff do you normally shoot?

Rex Larsen's picture

Hi Usman, my concern is with all the portraits I do. Studio lighting and available light. Lots of people pictures.

a Cinema Display is dont that god for calibration.. red/magenta like this? https://petapixel.com/2014/10/01/colorchecker-how-to-get-perfect-skin-co...

Rex Larsen's picture

Thank you very much, Viktor ! I will take time to study the helpful article you linked to. I really appreciate it !

The skin color I admire in published fashion and editorial work has more of a brown or beige color palette with none of the excessive red/magenta common with Canon files.

No problem.. ;) try it an se if it fix your promlem.. ;)

Rex Larsen's picture

Thanks again, Viktor. You are great. A big help ( I hope, ha ! )

All of this discussion is well and good ... How are you going to profile the sensor without a lens? Are you betting your Lenses are all the same? Are they all from the same manufacturer, the same glass, the same barrels, the same baffling?

Usman Dawood's picture

Sorry I don’t understand what you mean. Are you saying I need to create a profile for every lens and camera combination because I would agree to that.

To be honest, I was excited about watching this video. And then I looked at the 2 images before any changes were made, and they looked almost exactly alike to start. Yea the green wasn't as saturated, but honestly, Saturation+1 and I'm done. :) Perhaps it's my older eyes. But then again, I don't see much benefit in the trichromatic to start with, unless you were in art historian/documentation circles.

Jay Jay's picture

I have NEVER gotten good color rendition from using my x rite color checker in the studio (clubs with various lighting schemes are a different story). I use auto temp in camera and have color accurate strobes, both which provide the best color rendition, for me at least.

Usman Dawood's picture

I’d love to see a comparison. Also what software have you tried?

Aaron Bratkovics's picture

I use the saturation slider in lightroom. Sometimes I'll push it to 50+ When I'm done I click export as jpg. The colors always look fine for me.

Usman Dawood's picture

You don’t really do that right? Lol

I hope this was a typo and you meant to type 5, not 50. :-)

Usman Dawood's picture

He’s having us on lol. Just looked at his pictures he’s obviously very capable.

Lol I fell for it haha.

Photo Kaz's picture

I looked at this pictures too and ... what the hell were we talking about? :)

Aaron Bratkovics's picture

lol.

Johnny Rico's picture

skimmed for 20 seconds, so he just profiled the DSLR photo with an Xrite...? If thats all this is, click bate.

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